Amboi Sri LankaPosted: March 4, 2013
OH EM GEE.
Since I last daydreamt about honeymoon destinations, we’ve booked our flight and main accommodation for our honeymoon in Sri Lanka!
Before I start the post proper, if you’re wondering what’s up with the title of this post, there used to be this Malay song called “Amboi Seri Langkat”, which very randomly came to mind when we were discussing Sri Lanka. I’m sure you 80’s babies must’ve heard this song at some point in your childhood when your mothers had their radios on while working in the kitchen. I had thought they were singing about Sri Lanka (what did I know), but upon further investigation, Jamal Abdillah and Amelina were actually singing “Seri Langkat”, which up till now, I still don’t know is a place or a thing.
I can’t tell you how frickin’ excited I am. It’s a little nerve-wracking to be booking this kind of stuff this early (we’re 7 months away!) because you never know what’ll crop up later that might affect your plans. But insyaAllah we’ll make it happen.
My heart was pretty much set on Ceylon Tea Trails from the beginning. With its preserved colonial bungalows nestled in hills at altitudes of up to 4,600 feet amidst lush tea plantations, you’re treated to AHHHH-mazing views of the tea country. And the reviews on Tripadvisor have been nothing short of phenomenal!
Now Ceylon Tea Trails only has 20 rooms in total, between 4 bungalows. At the time of booking there were 11 rooms left and only four of the type of room we wanted. And of this four, only one was overlooking the lake (the rest have garden views).
Do the math — but of course we had to grab that last lake view room!
At that point we hadn’t booked flight tickets yet, but we’d already done our homework. The only budget carriers that go to Colombo are Tiger Airways and Scoot, but there were no flights scheduled on our dates (yet?). Emirates seemed to be our best bet because the flight schedule was so swee — it fit our itinerary perfectly! But not wanting to be hasty, we headed down to the recent NATAS travel fair to try our luck anyway even though we knew the promotions were mostly for travel before June/July (we were going to be travelling in October). We were told we could wait till the next fair in July for travel promotions for the rest of the year, but there would be no guarantees that tickets would actually be cheaper (our return flight falls on a public holiday — Deepavali), or if they would be available at all. Well let’s just say one booth and just an hour later, we walked out the fair empty-handed.
Now Faz and I can be considered noobs when it comes to booking airline tickets (I haven’t had the opportunity to travel much in my life, and Faz always had someone else book his tickets for him), but from research the consensus for booking flights during holiday seasons seemed to be to do it early. The longer you wait, the more you’re going to have to pay. In contrast, this may not apply to off-peak flights, where fares may still dip nearing the departure date. Did I get that right, jet-setters?
That in mind and since we already booked the hotel and didn’t want to risk anything screwing our itinerary, we went ahead to book our flight with Emirates. With that, we settled our flight and 1/3 of accommodations. Now, on to find the two others!
I’d say relaxation is our main intent during the honeymoon. We’re going to be staying in three different hotels in different areas over a week, and we’ll still go sightseeing and do a couple of touristy stuff, but we’ll tailor it such that we’ll be indoors enjoying the hotel compounds half the time. And so to aid this, we thought we’d splurge a little on accommodation. :)
As I’m planning the itinerary, I already get the feeling that I’ll be back in Sri Lanka again someday because there’re just so many things to do there that a one-week trip just won’t do. I still want to do the safari!
October, come quick!
Update: Tiger Airways has released their flight schedules on our dates, and it pained us at first that Tiger is almost half the price of Emirates! But upon further scrutiny, Tiger’s timing isn’t a fit, which means we’d possibly have to pay for two more nights in Sri Lanka — so it kinda works out to be the same in the end. Also, Faz may have to get back to work immediately the day after we return to Singapore, so we may not even be able to extend our honeymoon in the first place. Phew, no loss there!